11 Productivity Resources for You

1. Calendar of Birthdays and Anniversaries. Never forget a friend or family member's special day when you plug all of your important dates into an annual calendar that never needs updating because it's based solely on dates, not days. A variety of calendars that you can personalize are on the Internet. Or hang an annual calendar in a high-traffic area (near where you keep your car keys is a good spot) so you'll always have a reminder of those special days.

2. Audio Books on the Road. Don't forget how handy it can be to listen to an audio book during your commute or on long road trips. You'll get around to reading many more books than you could fit into your busy schedule… and you won't have to listen to those annoying commercials! And here's the best part: Tear out the companion CD from each issue of SUCCESS magazine and toss it into the CD player to hear some insightful and helpful information from some of the world's foremost thinkers and speakers!

3. DVR to Go. Never miss a show you want to watch… even though you're too busy to watch television! Link your DVR to your laptop and download your recorded shows so you can be sure to see them when you have downtime while traveling.

4. Get a Personal Shopper. Have an idea for the perfect gift but no time to shop for it? Many stores now offer the services of a personal shopper for a small fee or often, as a courtesy. They'll know exactly where to get it, have it wrapped and even deliver it to you or the recipient, and you won't have the hassle of battling crowds or long lines.

5.…and a Personal Trainer. Much like that personal shopper, a personal trainer can help you be much more efficient with your exercise routine. While they can't work out for you, they can create routines that provide the best workout in a well-planned schedule and diet.

6. WiFi Compatible Cameras. E-mail your photographs instantly to yourself or friends with digital cameras that have built-in wireless abilities.

7. Personalized Stationery. Even in this day-and-digital-age, a handwritten note is a meaningful way to express appreciation or gratitude. Order yourself a nice set of personalized stationery with your name or monogram and toss some in your briefcase-with a stamp and your return address already on them. That way, when you have a moment to send off a note, all you'll have to do is focus on your message.

8. Delegate Chores. Use a dog-walking service to give Fido his daily exercise. Contract a housecleaning service to tidy up your home once a week. Hire the neighborhood kid to mow your lawn. Sometimes, letting someone else take care of some of life's smaller chores for you can help you carve out some needed-and important-quality time for yourself.

9. Get a GPS Device. Never worry about getting lost or printing directions again. Purchase a helpful GPS unit, such as the Garmin or the Dash Express, to keep in your car so you'll always know where you're going and avoid being late when you can't find the way somewhere. And, better yet, many GPS units now provide up-to-the-minute information about traffic congestion and delays.

10. Use Online Video and Phone Services. Sign up for Skype, the free, online phone service that also uses video to help you communicate with your friends, family and business associates around the world. Skype also provides instant messaging, and tracks your call and message logs.

11. Go Green. Switch your light bulbs to the longer-lasting, more environmentally friendly bulbs that need changing only every year or so. Just think of the time (and backaches) you'll save not crawling up a ladder to reach the front-porch light. That-and you'll save a good deal of energy as well.


Anne Clarrissimeaux is a former associate editor for SUCCESS.

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